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Old 11-13-2011, 06:55 PM   #1
3dge
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Help! Which eReader? Really simple requirements :)

First of all I bet people come to this forum all the time asking this question, but I've had a look around and all the threads seem too specific, my question is really simple. I could really use your help

I'm a first time eReader buyer, but I'm not interested in purchasing any eBooks from any company at all, I'm simply looking for a device that can read PDFs and maybe docs or other mainstream files. I'd like to be able to drag and drop PDFs easily onto the device using USB as a disk (without any third party software or websites) and read PDFs without any real problems. I don't need WiFi or any fancy gadgets, just something that feels nice and works!

I've had a look at the Kindle and it seems very DRM heavy, it looks like it operates similar to iPod/iTunes from what I can see, which I really dislike. I'd like to be free to drag and drop without being penalized or having to jump through unnecessary hoops/covert files to Amazon's preferred file type No offense to you Apple users

Touch screen would be great but not necessary, I'm really trying to keep costs down Again I'm sorry if you get asked this question all the time but I could really use an answer! Any responses would be greatly appreciated!

tl;dr simple PDF reader needed - nothing else!
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:32 PM   #2
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You can drag and drop to a Kindle as easily as any other e-reader; your computer will recognize it as a mass storage device.

But the short answer to your question is that you probably don't want an e-reader. They excel at allowing you to read, basically, paperback novels in their preferred format. The further you move away from this model, the less satisfactory the experience is. And it's fairly unsatisfactory on a 6" screen, particularly if the PDF has tables or graphics. It's not a tablet.

If you were interested in e-books and wanted the ability to occasionally read a PDF, then you might try a sony, as they seem to be somewhat better at PDFs than Kindles. But if you want something specifically for PDFs, you should get a tablet.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:34 PM   #3
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But the short answer to your question is that you probably don't want an e-reader.
I concur. Saying that, I can get almost any pdf genuinely readable on my 650, but it requires jiggery-pokery.

If you go the e-reader route, get a Sony T1 or a Nook Touch. They are both Android and rootable.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:53 PM   #4
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Because of everything I've read about the page-turning bug in the Sony T1, I'd recommend avoiding that until/unless Sony manage to find a fix for it.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:58 PM   #5
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Welcome 3dge!

Assuming that we are not talking about pdf's with much in the way of graphs or illustrations, the jetBook and jetBook Lite have pdf reflow which works great!

They are cheap when you can find them. Last week Newegg.com had the jetBook on sale for (I think) $39.99. I prefer my jetBook Lite, but to each his own - it's heavier because it uses AA flashlight batteries.

These are made by Ectaco, which for the past year has apparently focused most of its attention on Russia and Ukraine. But if you visit the Newegg or EctacoUSA websites, you should find something.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 3dge View Post
First of all I bet people come to this forum all the time asking this question, but I've had a look around and all the threads seem too specific, my question is really simple. I could really use your help

I'm a first time eReader buyer, but I'm not interested in purchasing any eBooks from any company at all, I'm simply looking for a device that can read PDFs and maybe docs or other mainstream files. I'd like to be able to drag and drop PDFs easily onto the device using USB as a disk (without any third party software or websites) and read PDFs without any real problems. I don't need WiFi or any fancy gadgets, just something that feels nice and works!

I've had a look at the Kindle and it seems very DRM heavy, it looks like it operates similar to iPod/iTunes from what I can see, which I really dislike. I'd like to be free to drag and drop without being penalized or having to jump through unnecessary hoops/covert files to Amazon's preferred file type No offense to you Apple users

Touch screen would be great but not necessary, I'm really trying to keep costs down Again I'm sorry if you get asked this question all the time but I could really use an answer! Any responses would be greatly appreciated!

tl;dr simple PDF reader needed - nothing else!
You may want to look into the Pocketbook Pro 903. It's bigger than most ereaders - I think it's a 9.7" screen. But you want a big screen if you're going to be using PDF's a lot. The little 6-inchers, no matter how good their firmware, will drive you insane.

Pocketbook is also very open. I'm not a fan of the Kindle/Apple "walled garden" approach either. From what I can tell, Pocketbook works pretty hard at having high format compatibility and user choice.

Last edited by SmokeAndMirrors; 11-14-2011 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:37 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the responses guys

By getting a tablet instead of an eReader, do you mean devices such as the iPad? I did see another thread that recommended getting an iPad if your main interest is reading PDFs. Does anyone have any experience with this, is it easy to drag and drop and view PDFs on such a device? Or would another tablet be more appropriate.

Rizla, what do you mean when you say that putting PDFs on your 650 requires a bit of "jiggery-pokery" - is it generally a difficult task to just get PDFs readable on most 6 inch ereaders?

GA Russell, I had a look at the jetlite, the price is great but I'm wondering about the TFT screen - my eyes can be quite sensitive and I'd really hate to strain them on a regular basis. Has this been a problem for you?

SmokeAndMirrors - The Pocketbook Pro looks perfect, but very pricey at around £300. I'd need to be 100% convinced it read PDFs relatively easy just dragging and dropping them onto the device to invest.

again, thanks for your responses - I really appreciate it.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:04 PM   #8
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The Kindle is no more DRM-heavy than ePub DRM schemes. In fact, it is easier to use, as no Adobe software is required to activate the book. You just download the book to the device, and it works. There is nothing like iTunes or any other software installed on a pc involved.

Of course, it is probably not the best choice for PDF files. A larger screen, like an iPad, would be better for that, as most PDFs have a large page size, similar to a piece of paper.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:28 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses guys

GA Russell, I had a look at the jetlite, the price is great but I'm wondering about the TFT screen - my eyes can be quite sensitive and I'd really hate to strain them on a regular basis. Has this been a problem for you?
3dge, I have never experienced eyestrain or fatigue reading my jetBook Lite. The screen is the same as what you have on your wristwatch or pocket calculator. The text is very black.

I see that this week Newegg has the jetBook for $49.99.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...01&Tpk=jetBook

I prefer the jetBook Lite because with rechargeable flashlight batteries, if the batteries ever wear out you just buy a few more. With all of the other readers, when the battery wears out it is less expensive to buy a new unit than to pay them to replace the battery.
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:32 PM   #10
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Rizla, what do you mean when you say that putting PDFs on your 650 requires a bit of "jiggery-pokery" - is it generally a difficult task to just get PDFs readable on most 6 inch ereaders?
The problem is the screen size. PDFs are designed to be seen on a set page size, usually either 8.5 by 11 or A4. If the PDF is just text, a good reader can make it reflow so it's readable. If the PDF is a graph or a chart, it might not display correctly. You could, for instance, find that the text that's supposed to explain the chart was reflowed someplace else. Some PDFs really need to be seen at close to 100% size, and that's not possible on such as a small screen.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:24 PM   #11
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Pocketbook is also very open. I'm not a fan of the Kindle/Apple "walled garden" approach either. From what I can tell, Pocketbook works pretty hard at having high format compatibility and user choice.
Apple has a walled garden wrt apps because you can only put apps from the appstore on an iDevice. But why do you think that Kindle has a walled garden?
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:24 PM   #12
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SmokeAndMirrors - The Pocketbook Pro looks perfect, but very pricey at around £300. I'd need to be 100% convinced it read PDFs relatively easy just dragging and dropping them onto the device to invest.
Well, I can't tell you from personal experience. I've got a 6" ereader.

I'd recommend you head down to the Pocketbook sub-forum on this site and ask them about the 903 model. I see no reason you wouldn't be able to drag and drop files onto the Pocketbook - I can with my Kobo Touch and Pocketbook is even more open. But ask to be sure.

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Apple has a walled garden wrt apps because you can only put apps from the appstore on an iDevice. But why do you think that Kindle has a walled garden?
Proprietary formatting is the biggest reason, though there are many smaller ones. That in and of itself is very "walled off."
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:27 AM   #13
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Proprietary formatting is the biggest reason, though there are many smaller ones. That in and of itself is very "walled off."
That's not what "walled garden" means. A walled garden is an environment where nothing from "outside" can come in. I.e., the only way you can put apps on an iPhone is through their store; you can't put other apps on it.

This isn't true of the kindle at all; you can buy books at any store selling mobi books and e-mail it or sideload it to the kindle - or get free books from Gutenberg if you want. That's not a walled garden.

And the proprietary format doesn't matter at all. DRM is what matters. And DRMs are all proprietary.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:37 AM   #14
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That's not what "walled garden" means. A walled garden is an environment where nothing from "outside" can come in. I.e., the only way you can put apps on an iPhone is through their store; you can't put other apps on it.

This isn't true of the kindle at all; you can buy books at any store selling mobi books and e-mail it or sideload it to the kindle - or get free books from Gutenberg if you want. That's not a walled garden.

And the proprietary format doesn't matter at all. DRM is what matters. And DRMs are all proprietary.
Oh sure, it'll work on anything... as long as it's Kindle. And only Kindle. You can buy it from somewhere else if you want, but it will only work on Kindle.

Wiki says:
Quote:
A walled garden is an analogy used in various senses in information technology. In the telecommunications and media industries, a "walled garden" refers to a carrier or service provider's control over applications, content, and media on platforms (such as mobile devices) and restriction of convenient access to non-approved applications or content.
The way it's used - which is slightly more forgiving than its literal meaning, very clearly includes Amazon/Kindle. The fact that you can buy Kindle books from some other places doesn't change that it won't work on anything but Kindle, and that they try to make moving away from Kindle painful and expensive as a deterrent.

If they could, they would make it impossible for you to ever move away from Kindle without losing every book in your collection. They've already done that, for users who aren't savvy enough to know what Calibre and Alf are.

There are plenty of ways to do a walled garden. Some lock everything out; some lock everything in. Some do a mix of the two.

It matters to me. And it matters to a lot of other people. If you don't care, fine. But please don't try to tell me this isn't an issue, or that people who see it as an issue are just making things up. It is very clearly an issue, and has caused problems for plenty of people. It's almost intellectually insulting to claim otherwise.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:50 PM   #15
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i'd like to chime in and ask the OP a question (this thread is the closest I've seen to answering my questions on getting an e-reader/tablet for pdfs). Does the OP mean PDFs of books/novels (dl legally or not)? Or say PDFs of technical manuals, etc. that tend to be created in 8.5" x 11" formats.

Not to highjack this thread (I can start another). I'm looking for a reader for mainly PDFs of novels/books/etc. I read them on my computer but I'd prefer something with less glare and portable. Thus I'm looking at a Nook Touch. But the reflow issue and PDF on e-reader issues have me concerned.
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